A reality TV show idea…Mark Burnett, I await your calls

As a former film student, I see a lot of potential in competitive filmmaking as a reality TV subject. I know Project Greenlight made some waves at the beginning of this whole reality era, but my idea is much better.

Here’s what I envision: ten or twelve aspiring filmmakers are put into teams, a la The Apprentice, and given tasks that they have to complete together. They rotate positions (director, editor, writer, cinematographer, etc.) and the tasks would vary. They could make a TV commercial, a music video, a silent film, a musical, whatever. They would all be short, of course, so that at the end of the episode we’d have time to watch each team’s film in its entirety.

Then of course one person gets voted out each week, until it’s down to one person against another. Then they each make an open subject short, perhaps, and the best person wins the chance to screen their short at a film festival. They’d also probably get meetings with movie executives and so forth, perhaps a grant to make a film, or some expensive equipment (an Avid editing setup, maybe?).

Just think of the drama! Film shoots are stressful and something always goes wrong. From casting decisions to editing decisions, there are always disagreements. Personalities clash, crews pull all-nighters and go half-crazy…what more could you ask for?

I await your offers, TV land.

Dear Talk Shows: Withholding sex will not make a man marry you

I get really peeved whenever I see a TV talk show discussing the reasons men sometimes don’t want to get married, because they always say the same things and never offer any solutions. I believe it was Dr. Phil the other day who was saying that the number one reason men don’t get married is that they can get sex without marriage. So, basically, the old “buying the cow” thing (a very insulting metaphor to women, by the way…for some reason we get touchy when we’re compared to cows).

Now, if you flip that around and look at it from the woman’s point of view, here’s what it seems like Dr. Phil, Tyra, and all those other quasi-experts are trying to tell us. It seems like they’re saying, “If you want to get a man to marry you, you shouldn’t be having sex with him without a ring on your finger.” And it doesn’t feel like they’re saying it in a Christian way, like they think sex before marriage is sinful.

But is that really what men want? If you’re a woman and you’re in a serious relationship with a man, serious enough that you’re thinking about marriage, and all of a sudden you see this talk show and say, you’re right, I should stop having sex, what will the man think? One minute you’re his loving girlfriend who he’s hopefully serious about too, the next you’re withholding sex to get what you want, and your relationship is now cold and sexless. Would that really be a conducive environment to romance and wanting to take things to the next level?

Once you’ve established that you have a sexual relationship with someone, you can’t just turn it off. And since almost every other woman on the dating scene doesn’t subscribe to this withholding sex before marriage rule, what would be keeping the guy from simply finding a girlfriend who will have sex with him?

And by the way, why is all of this on the woman? Why do we have to control our output of sex like it’s something we don’t want, and we just do to manipulate people? It seems almost like we’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.

So I say, if your man is shallow enough that he thinks marrying you is like pointlessly buying a cow when he can get the milk for free, dump his ass and find someone who respects you as a person and not just a sexual object. How about that?

Recipe: Laura’s Vegetable Lasagna

I grew up making a more traditional, meat-laden lasagna, but after my mom became a vegetarian and I became close to a long line of vegetarian friends, I had to start amending my recipe on occasion. Now I don’t really miss the meaty version, because this recipe for vegetable lasagna, which I’ve developed through trial and error over the years, is so damned satisfying.

Ingredients

2 boxes dry lasagna noodles

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped shallots

2 tbsp. minced garlic

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

1 cup chopped broccoli

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 eggplant, thinly sliced

2 large cans of diced tomatoes

1 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. basil

½ tsp. thyme

2 bay leaves

1 lb. mozzarella

1 cup grated parmesan

1 ½ cups ricotta cheese

1 egg

Let the sliced eggplant ‘weep’ their bitter juices out by arranging slices in a single layer, salting on both sides, and letting sit for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse slices and pat dry.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add shallots, then garlic. Let cook for 3-5 minutes, until shallots start to become translucent, then add the rest of the vegetables.

Let the vegetables cook until they begin to soften (5-8 minutes), then add canned tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaves. Let simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Heat up a spaghetti pot of water with a pinch of salt, and boil pasta about halfway (4-5 minutes). While it’s boiling, mix the ricotta with the egg, half of the parmesan, and a sprinkle each of salt, pepper, and basil. Refrigerate the ricotta mixture until ready to use. Shred the mozzarella cheese and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large baking dish, start building the lasagna with a layer of sauce and vegetable mix. Top with a layer of noodles, then a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture, then a sprinkling of mozzarella. Repeat until you run out of noodles or reach the top of your baking dish, then top the final layer of noodles with sauce and the rest of your mozzarella. Sprinkle the remaining half cup of parmesan over the top.

Bake the lasagna until bubbly and starting to brown on the top, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Don’t forget to slice leftovers into single portions for easy freezing!

Billy Mays found dead…is anyone questioning the ShamWow guy??

Billy Mays

Legendary TV pitchman and infomercial star Billy Mays has been found dead in his home. This is very sad news. I liked that guy, and he was just on a late night talk show the other night! In fact, during his TV appearance, he delivered a major diss to the ShamWow guy, Vince Shlomi. When the ShamWow was mentioned, Billy got all huffy and brought out his version of the ShamWow from years ago, that does the exact same thing and was even the same color. He basically implied that Vince ripped him off and was no friend of his.

Well there’s your motive right there! Plus, the reports have said that there was no evidence of a break-in or foul play found at the scene…but of course there wouldn’t be! Not if you had a ShamWow, which could soak up all kinds of evidence. Not to mention the fact that the house was probably filled with Oxi Clean.

Also, Vince has been arrested before. At least they wouldn’t have to take another mugshot, because this one is just so precious.

sham-Wow-Vince-Shlomi-mug-shot

I’ll bet if they check the security camera footage in Billy Mays’ house, they’re likely to find something like this (too soon?).

shamwow guy blood

Note to bosses: You still have to be human beings

Some fashion publicist something or other, who apparently appears in the scripted “reality” series The Hills, found out one of her interns was blogging about her and blew a gasket. I know, this isn’t really news. But the words the woman, whose name is Kelly Cutrone, used were just so vicious. According to New York Magazine, after she fired the (unpaid) intern, she then went on to threaten the poor NYU student. “I told her I’m going to sue the fuck out of your family if you don’t take it down immediately and your college tuition is going to seem like a pittance after you face my wrath.”

This just sounds all too much like every other asshole I’ve met who works in a high up position or makes a lot of money, especially in the entertainment industry, and therefore thinks they have the right to treat other people like crap. Even worse, sometimes they let people know up front that they’ll be working with a “strong personality,” basically saying they’re not going to stop being jerks for anyone, no matter what. Since when does a job give you permission to stop being polite and respectful to other people?

And the fact that this girl was an UNPAID intern just makes it all the more obnoxious. I always say I do the job I’m paid for. If I’m getting $2 an hour, I do a $2 an hour job. If I’m offered $200 an hour, however, I’ll do a damn good job. Employers should understand that you get what you pay for, and if they’re going to be jerks and fire people who aren’t getting paid anyway, or expect unreasonable amounts of responsibility from these volunteer workers, they should just do away with their whole internship program and hire actual paid workers. And yes, I’ve ranted about internships before, but it’s a subject I feel strongly about, especially now that the job ads are filled with so many unpaid positions.

What a bitch.

10 Things I Hate About You…the TV show?

I loved the original 10 Things I Hate About You, which wasn’t all that original considering it was based on The Taming of the Shrew, which also inspired Kiss Me Kate. But a solid performance from a young Heath Ledger made this an above-average dumb teen flick, and costars Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Larisa Oleynik (a.k.a. Alex Mack) didn’t hurt either.

Then yesterday I was flipping through an Alloy catalog (I like cheap clothes) when I came across an ad for what appeared to be the same film, but I realized with horror it was actually an ad for a new ABC Family comedy series based on said film! This remake can only spell trouble. Okay, so Ethan Peck (who is filling Ledger’s shoes in the remake) is apparently Gregory Peck’s grandson, and he has that whole brooding look about him, although he kind of looks like Dan from Gossip Girl, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. But it’s pretty hard to compete with a dead guy who everyone still respects greatly.

You can compare the two casts below:

Before

10 things i hate about you

After

10ThingsCast_Group abc family